Report finds dentists work more hours, but have lower morale

Report finds dentists work more hours, but have lower morale

NHS Digital has reported on working hours, motivation and morale. They found that the more time dentists spend on NHS/Health Service work, the lower their levels of motivation. Low morale is related to increasing expenses and/or declining income and the risk of litigation and the cost of indemnity fees. Nearly two-thirds of Principal dentists and over half of all Associate dentists across the UK often think of leaving dentistry.

The data come from Dental Working Hours - 2016/17 and 2017/18: Working Patterns, Motivation and Morale which presents findings from the biennial Dental Working Patterns Survey which was undertaken during the spring of 2018.

In general, dentists take fewer weeks’ annual break than they did when the survey was first undertaken while those in England & Wales and Scotland now tend to work longer weekly hours. During the last decade there has been a notable drop in the amount of time dentists spend on clinical work across the UK. Principal dentists (and Associates in England & Wales) have also seen a drop in the time they spend on NHS/Health Service work over the same period.

The more time dentists spend on NHS/Health Service work, the lower their levels of motivation. During the last six years there has been an overall drop in the motivation of dentists in England & Wales and Scotland and Principal dentist in Northern Ireland. However, Associate dentists in Northern Ireland, who had previously been the unhappiest, have shown small increases in motivation over the last two years.

The most common contributory factors to low morale are increasing expenses and/or declining income and the risk of litigation and the cost of indemnity fees. Regulations are also cited as a major cause of low morale amongst Principal dentists.

Nearly two-thirds of Principal dentists and over half of all Associate dentists across the UK often think of leaving dentistry.

Link to report:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/dental-working-hours/2016-17-and-2017-18-working-patterns-motivation-and-morale

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